Building product intuition and optimizing engineering resources: A Case Study with CommandBar

Justin Bleuel
January 4, 2023

CommandBar is a widget for web-apps

CommandBar is an intelligent layer that sits on top of any app and adds widgets that guide and assist end users to help them wield software more powerfully. These widgets include a magic search bar for commands, and nudges to suggest next steps and redirect users. Developers copy a code snippet to install CommandBar and create and edit experiences using a low-code editor. An analytics dashboard on the back end shows the most popular user behaviors, which developers can use it to improve their product and configure new experiences in CommandBar.

Lucas was CommandBar’s first employee

Lucas Howard joined CommandBar as Employee #1. Being the first hire at a hyper growth startup means that Lucas has worked on multiple areas of the business. He’s worked on operations and currently focuses on product and analytics. Lucas works with several stakeholders in the organization from executive leadership to the operations, product, and engineering teams.

Avenue is a key pillar of CommandBar’s operations

At CommandBar, Avenue touches on all aspects of the business. From understanding user behaviors to having visibility when something needs to be attended to resolving those issues quickly, the team cannot imagine a world without Avenue.

Operations teams fill the gaps where the product falls short. Using Avenue has helped the ops team at CommandBar catch scenarios that are not supposed to be happening or configuration issues on the client side.

Instead of wasting engineering resources, the Operations team has Avenue alerts that allow them to monitor how customers are doing and find the source of any bugs that come up.”

Product intuition: “Unless you check dashboards manually you won’t see the data”

Very early on, the CommandBar team realized they had a ton of interesting product data they wanted to do more with. The founding team is very technical, so there has always been a strong focus on data and analytics. After doing a series of sprints to build data infrastructure, the team set up tools like DBT, High Touch, Stitch, Redash, and Retool.

This yielded a series of dashboards. The problem was: “unless you check those dashboards manually you won’t see the data”. This process was reactive, not proactive.

In comes Avenue.

Because “Slack is the heartbeat of the company”, the team at CommandBar found it extremely valuable that these metrics were coming into Slack throughout the day. Now, user data comes into their Slack in real time which helps the team build intuition about how users are using the product and any problems they may be experiencing.

Proactive Customer Support: “Avenue allows us to be proactive by helping us uncover users who may be at risk for churn”

More than just general usage insights, there are specific events that can be the difference between a customer having a successful trial or them concluding the app is buggy and churning.

For example, sometimes when a company is inviting new teammates, the new user may sign up individually and create a new “organization”. This leads to duplicate organizations and causes the new user to experience confusion. CommandBar solved this problem using Avenue. In 10 minutes without needing engineering resources, Lucas created a query to find duplicates and set up alerts to let the customer support and sales team know when this happens. Now the CommandBar team reaches out proactively to resolve this problem. Less confusion means higher likelihood of conversion and retention.

Avenue touches on some of CommandBar’s most important KPIs

  1. Customer support volume

  2. Number of bugs reported

  3. Customer retention, trial to paid conversion

  4. Customer happiness

  5. Engineering time saved

Does this sound like your team?

Operations teams have been the group that works on the edge of a business. They pick up everything that slips through the cracks, and they tend to do so with a patch-worked and insufficient toolkit. Instead of focusing on preventing fires, they have to figure out where the fires are coming from while they fight them.

It’s a new day for operations teams. Avenue provides all the alerts, monitoring, analysis, and escalations you need, in one place.

Don't wait! Get started today.

Happy alerting 🚀

Co-Founder & CEO